In 1890, Amos Alonzo Stagg, a Yale all-American and major league baseball pitching prospect, came to Springfield College (then known as the YMCA Training School) and started the college’s first football team. A grad student in a one-year program to become a YMCA Physical Director, he served as Coach, Manager, Captain, and Player on this original team often called “Stagg’s Eleven” or “The Stubby Christians.” The team finished the first season with a record of 5 wins and 3 losses, playing Yale strongly in the first indoor football game ever played in Madison Square Garden. Among other greats to coach the football team was James Huff McCurdy. McCurdy came to Springfield in 1895 and headed the team till 1917. He is largely responsible for helping to grow the Springfield College football team’s reputation and starting a long tradition of being feared by other colleges, in addition to his innovative work in exercise physiology. Later, Oscar “Ossie” Solem, famous Syracuse University coach, coached the team from 1946-1957.
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